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1850 Society hosts inaugural graduation celebration

On April 24, the Cleone Peterson Eccles Alumni House was filled with excitement and pride as over 160 first-generation graduates, their families, and supporters gathered for the inaugural 1850 Society Graduation Celebration. The event was held to honor these trailblazing graduates, and Provost Mitzi Montoya was in attendance to congratulate them on their perseverance, determination and hard work.

The gathering opened with inspiring remarks from T. Chase Hagood, senior associate vice president for Academic Affairs and dean of Undergraduate Studies. In his address, he emphasized that the journey of each graduate is unique and highlighted the accomplishments, resilience, and impact of first-generation graduates on their families, communities, state and the world. Hagood expressed admiration for first-generation scholars, noting they have navigated uncharted waters, setting an example for generations to come.

The 1850 Society is part of the Office of Undergraduate Studies and aims to provide first-generation students with vital resources—advice, support, mentorship, and opportunities for connections with faculty, peers, alumni, and friends of the U. The society’s support builds a community that celebrates first-generation students’ achievements and empowers them to dream big and reach higher. In his speech, Hagood underscored the importance of the University of Utah’s alumni network and encouraged the graduates to engage with the community, support one another, and commit to helping future first-generation students succeed.

The event concluded on a high note, reflecting on the lasting legacy of these graduates and the promise of continued achievement in the years to come. Additionally, special thanks were given to UFirst Credit Union for championing first-generation student success at the U.

The celebration was a joyful occasion, not only for the graduates and their families but for the university as well. The event marked a significant milestone, honoring the graduates’ achievements and strengthening a sense of community among first-generation scholars. It underscored the dedication of the U to ensuring the success of every student who attends.